Supernatural showrunner Andrew Dabb teases the rise of a new power player in Hell. It's almost hard to remember at this point, but for the first few seasons of Supernatural, things were much more about defeating the monster of the week than preventing some type of biblical apocalypse scenario. In fact, while demons have been a popular adversary since Azazel decided to barbecue Mary Winchester in the pilot, the existence of angels wasn't even introduced until Dean returned from his first stay in Hell at the beginning of season 4.
With the arrival of Castiel came a whole new dimension to the Winchester story, as subsequent seasons of Supernatural have spent a lot of time focusing on the eternal battles that take place not only between Heaven and Hell, but for the right to lead both realms. Since then, multiple beings have taken their best shot at assuming either job, usually with mixed to terrible results.
While God himself -- a.k.a. Chuck -- finally decided to return and briefly assert control of things in season 11, the big guy has since headed back to wherever it is he goes for the long periods he's not around, leaving individual angels and demons to once again bicker with and backstab each other in their quests for power. Season 12 left a pretty large hole to be filled on the infernal side, with former King of Hell and Winchester buddy Crowley seemingly dead for good, and Hell's traditional emperor Lucifer trapped in an alternate universe. Will a new evil force use this opportunity to claim Hell's throne? Showrunner Andrew Dabb tells EW that the answer is yes.
"There is a power vacuum. Into that power vacuum will step a new player for us. Once Crowley is gone, demon-kind and some of our players — some we’ve met before and some that are new — start asking themselves: What is the future of Hell? People come with various different agendas."
While it's not too surprising that Hell's head office won't stay vacant for too long, the real headline from what Dabb says is that the being who ends up taking over the fiery mantle might be someone who fans have never met prior to season 13. With Crowley actor Mark Sheppard making it clear previously that there are no current plans for him to return to the show, one wonders if this new ruler of Hell will end up filling Crowley's void as a series regular.
Of course, a fairly obvious candidate to take over Hell is Jack, the son of Lucifer and Kelly Kline. That said, information on season 13 so far has suggested that Jack won't necessarily follow the traditional antichrist trajectory, and will find himself struggling with the disparity between his human and demon sides. If Hell's new kingpin could somehow convince Jack to join him, though, that would be a huge feather in that being's cap. This all assumes that Lucifer will be gone awhile, though, and there's no guarantee that'll be the case.
Supernatural season 13 premieres October 12 on The CW.